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5 Tips for Maintaining your Vehicle in Preparation for the upcoming Winter Months

September 17th, 2015

Prepare your vehicle for winter

Did you know there are some important areas of vehicle maintenance to take into account in order to prepare your vehicle for the harsh winter weather? Since we live in Canada, our cars can encounter some harsh weather so it’s really important that you take the time to keep your vehicle in great condition.

1) The Wiper Blades

It is likely that you have used your windshield wiper blades fairly regularly over the course of the year – and it is also just as likely that will see a lot of usage during the fall and winter time. It is recommended that you have these blades replaced each year, particularly in the fall – so that going into the winter they are at their best and won’t decide to quit on you when you need them the most. Luckily, these vehicle parts are not too expensive, in terms of maintenance costs and the only thing you really need to be aware of is purchasing the correct blades to go with your vehicle. This is one aspect of vehicle maintenance that can be a do-it yourself project to get your vehicle winter-road ready.

2) A Spare Tire

It is also important to check on the condition of the spare tire in your vehicle. Depending on where the spare tire is kept in a car, suspended underneath the vehicle, on the back on car, or in the trunk below a back compartment, it is common for the spare tire to drop in pressure. Typically, tire deflation occurs each time the temperature drops 10 degrees and this also goes for the 4 other vehicle tires. You can read your manual to determine the proper inflation pressure for your vehicle and your spare tire, as well should be kept at a certain level, so it is effective, in case of emergency. The winter weather can be even harder on your car, and as the temperature lowers, your tires will deflate in turn. As a result, monitoring your tires throughout the year, and especially so in the fall season is a highly suggested for all drivers.

3) Washer Fluid

Fall and winter time are also the times of year when wiper fluid gets used the most, and as a result these fluids will need to be checked and re-filled more regularly. Additionally, it is recommended that the wiper fluid you use during the winter is one that is more appropriate for colder weather. Sometimes this solvent will include some antifreeze; however it is important to note that sometimes too much antifreeze can damage vehicle paint. This type of fluid is fairly inexpensive to purchase at the gallon size, depending on the kind you decide to purchase. The autumn is an ideal time to purchase this solvent and add it to your car in preparation for the declining temperatures that are sure to arrive over the course of these two colder seasons.

4) Engine Filters

The air filters in your car should also be replaced prior to the winter months, and twice a year is highly recommended. Air filters are also extremely important components of vehicle maintenance, as blocked filters contribute to restricted airflow and as a result the fuel economy, performance, as well as your vehicle emissions can become compromised. Having these filters replaced bi-annually can be easily maintained through regular servicing appointments and can help your vehicle function throughout the fall and winter months.

5) Battery Connections

Lastly, the battery connections in your vehicle will also need to be addressed as there are a variety of electrical problem that can lead to ignition issues. This can also be a part of your vehicle serving appointments, however if you are vehicle savvy you can instead purchase a brush that is designed to clean corrosion from the cable connectors and posts. If you notice that there is corrosion on these connections, this is a good sign that they should be cleaned. While it is good to check these connections throughout the year, you will want to ensure your battery is in working order before the winter weather hits.

One bonus tip of fall vehicle maintenance includes the monitoring of vehicle headlight bulbs. As the nights get longer and darker at earlier hours of the days, ensuring your lights are strong going into these months is important. You can have these bulbs on hand and therefore can replace them on your own as soon as they go out, also ensuring that you can drive even more safely during this time of year.

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